autism spectrum disorder
There is a 12-to-16 item (depending on age) Autism Spectrum Disorder subscale as well as a 12-item Autistic Disorder and an 8-item Asperger’s Disorder subscale in the following Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories:
Early Childhood Inventory (early childhood)
Child Symptom Inventory (elementary school)
Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory (elementary & secondary school)
The Autism scales of Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories are among the first published DSM-referenced autism rating scales and are reported on in scores of scientific publications, representative examples of which are DeVincent, & Gadow, 2009; DeVincent, Gadow, Strong, et al., 2008; Gadow, DeVincent, Pomeroy, & Azizian, 2004, 2005; Gadow & Garman, 2020; Gadow, Schwartz, DeVincent, et al., 2008; Lecavalier et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2018, 2019a, 2019b; and Rodriguez-Seijas, Gadow, Rosen, et al., 2020.
Individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for a specific disorder often exhibit the symptoms of (or meet diagnostic criteria for) other psychiatric disorders, which is often referred to as co-morbidity or symptom co-occurrance. Using Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories, scores of studies have shown this is also the case for ASD (e.g., Gadow, DeVincent, Pomeroy, & Azizian, 2004, 2005). Abstracts of many of these studies can be accessed by clicking the link to Research Bibliography. Because individuals with ASD typically exhibit the symptoms of other psychiatric disorders, assessment batteries that evaluate a range of disorders are optimal in clinical management.
SOCIAL COMMUNICATION DISORDER SCALE
There is a 4-item Social Communication Disorder subscale in the Checkmate Plus Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory.
Few DSM-defined syndromes have undergone as much transformation in nomenclature and diagnostic criteria over the years as autism, now referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
In DSM-IV, ASD was referred to as pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), of which there were several variants, three of the most prevalent were autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). The core symptoms of PDD were deficits in social behavior and language as well as repetitive behaviors. Variants differed in the severity of their relative distribution.
In DSM-5, revised the terminology for autism by dropping PDD and adopting the term autism spectrum disorder. It also amended its conceptualization of symptoms such that the symptoms of impaired language were subsumed under social communication deficits and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior and interests (RRBI), but research using the Symptom Inventories Autism subscale indicates this decision is a work in progress (Lecavalier et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2018, 2019a, 2019b). In addition, RRBI’s were expanded to include a wider range of atypical reactions to sensory stimuli, which resulted in the addition of four items to the DSM-5-based ASD subscale of the Symptom Inventories.
The DSM-IV-based scoring rules for autistic disorder and Asperger’s disorder were maintained because DSM-5 states that “individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.” Furthermore, autistic disorder and Asperger’s disorder Symptom Count Cutoff and other scoring algorithms were validated by extensive research.
There are also empirically derived subscales and empirically generated scoring algorithms for autism generated from the Symptom Inventories (DeVincent, & Gadow, 2009; DeVincent, Gadow, Strong, et al., 2008; Gadow, Schwartz, DeVincent, et al., 2008). Much of this research involves the Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory (CASI), the Early Childhood Inventory (ECI), or the Child Symptom Inventory (CSI). There is also a CASI Social Anhedonia subscale that is relevfant for social deficits in children and adolescents with autism (Gadow & Garman, 2020).
DSM-5 also established a new disorder similar to, but distinct from, ASD called social communication disorder (SCD). As the term implies, individuals with SCD encounter difficulty communicating with other people in social situations as a function of deficits in social cognition, pragmatics, non-verbal communication, and language processing.
DeVincent, C.J., & Gadow, K.D. (2009). Relative clinical utility of three Child Symptom Inventory-4 scoring algorithms for differentiating children with autism spectrum disorder versus attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Autism Research, 2, 312-321. doi:10.1002/aur.106
DeVincent, C., Gadow, K.D., Strong, G., Schwartz, J., & Cuva, S. (2008). Screening for autism spectrum disorder with the Early Childhood Inventory-4. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 29, 1-10. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181943595
Gadow, K.D., DeVincent, C.J., Pomeroy, J., & Azizian, A. (2005). Comparison of DSM-IV symptoms in elementary school-aged children with PDD versus clinic and community samples. Autism, 9, 392-415. doi: 10.1177/1362361305056079
Gadow, K.D., DeVincent, C.J., Pomeroy, J., & Azizian, A. (2004). Psychiatric symptoms in preschool children with PDD and clinic and comparison samples. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 379-393. doi:10.1023/B:JADD.0000037415.21458.93
Gadow K.D., & Garman, H. (2020). Social anhedonia in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and psychiatry referrals. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 49(2). doi: 10.1080/15374416.2018.1539912
Gadow, K.D., Schwartz, J., DeVincent, C., Strong, G., & Cuva, S. (2008). Clinical utility of autism spectrum disorder scoring algorithms for the Child Symptom Inventory. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 419-427. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0408-y
Kim, H., Keifer, C.M., Rodriguez-Seijas, C., Eaton, N.R., Lerner, M.D., & Gadow, K.D. (2018). Structural hierarchy of autism spectrum disorder symptoms: An integrative framework. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59, 30-38. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12698
Kim, H., Keifer, C.M., Rodriguez‐Seijas, C., Eaton, N.R., Lerner, M.D., & Gadow, K.D. (2019a). Quantifying the optimal structure of the autism phenotype: a comprehensive comparison of dimensional, categorical, and hybrid models. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(9), 876-886.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.431
Kim, H., Greene, A., Eaton, N.R., Lerner, M.D., & Gadow, K.D. (2019b). A bifactor model of the autism symptom phenotype: Mr. Kim et al. Reply. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(10), 1019-1021. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2019.04.024
Lecavalier, L., Gadow, K.D., DeVincent, C.J., Houts, C., & Edwards, M.C. (2009). Deconstructing the PDD clinical phenotype: Internal validity of the DSM-IV. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1246-1254. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2009.02104.x
Lecavalier, L., Gadow, K.D., DeVincent, C.J., Houts, C., & Edwards, M.C. (2011). Validity of DSM-IV syndromes in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 15, 1-17. doi: 10.1177/1362361310391115
Lecavalier, L., Gadow, K.D., DeVincent, C.J., & Edwards, M.C. (2009). Validation of DSM-IV model of psychiatric syndromes in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 278-289. doi: 10.1007/s10803-008-0622-2
Rodriguez-Seijas, C., Gadow, K. D., Rosen, T.E., Kim, H., Lerner, M.D., Eaton, N. R. (2020). A transdiagnostic model of psychiatric symptom co-occurrence and autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 13, 579-590. doi: 10.1002/aur.2228